Thyroid UK
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Feeling so sad

Hello, I'm feeling a little confused and upset. Last year my doctor tested my thyroid because whilst I was on holiday my ankles ballooned up in the heat, she said I had an underactive thyroid and I was put on 50mg .. So every two months I've been tested and I was then put up to 75. After the 75 I felt OK, didn't seem to feel anything bad only I had noticed I was quite black around the eyes and a few weeks ago I noticed I was finding it a struggle to get out of bed on a morning. She recently tested it again and this time I asked for the results ... Tsh 13.5 ts4 36.5 so she raised me to 100mg ... I've been taking that dose for five days now. I have no clue what these numbers mean as my doctor wasn't very clear . The weird thing is on the day I had the blood test I felt a dip in my mood. And since then I have been up and down... Weepy ... And just not feeling myself , is this normal for these levels? Yesterday I had such a good day and now I am crying again ... Is that normal too ? To be ok one day and then not the next? I'm worried about it because I'm on antidepressants and I'm scared it's not my thyroid and the antidepressant isn't working or something

10 Replies

When were you diagnosed as being depressed and given anti-d's.


Have you had other things tested that may be causing you to have low mood ? Maybe the following - B12 - FERRITIN - FOLATE - VITD.  You also need the FULL Thyroid Profile tested as the TSH tells you very little.  Also the FT4 and FT3 should be tested along with the thyroid anti-bodies - Anti-TPO and Anti-Tg.

You can have Private testing done through Thyroid UK - to include all the above.  I am thinking your FT3 is low as that can cause depression - but your Doc finds it easier to pull out the prescription pad for AD's rather than seek the root cause.  Take a look at the symptoms of LOW B12 in the link below - scroll down the page - but also have a good read of the site so you are prepared for your GP's resistance.

And the link for Private testing ....

To keep increasing the dose without knowing how it is behaving in the body is not a recipe for wellness.  Your GP is not giving you the treatment you so deserve.

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As someone who has had both real depression and the kind that you get from being hypothyroid I would say that you won't know whether you need the anti-depressants until your thyroid is sorted, but its quite probable that you don't and it is all caused by the lack of thyroid hormone in your system. 

Its time to educate yourself about hypothyroidism, because sadly most doctors (and many endocrinologists) don't really understand it, or how it should be treated. It is your health and your body, and you need to be sure you have enough information to make sensible decisions for yourself.

Start by asking reception at the doctors for a printout of your test results. Or if you are one of the luck few that can view your test results online under the Patient Access system get them from there. Start a new thread here with the results and the ranges (the figures usually in brackets) and ask for an explanation of what is going on.

Also go to the ThyroidUK website and read up on what it means. 

5 days is no time in thyroid treatment with levothyroxine (sometimes it says Sodium thyroxine on the pack). You might start to notice a change after 2 weeks, but it can be as long as six. Its two months before your new levels are stable and you need a retest. With a TSH as high as yours its quite likely you will need more than one dosage increase.

Take your tablet or tablets in the morning on waking, with water only - no tea, coffee or food. Wait an hour before you eat. When you go for your next blood test don't take your tablets that morning, and get the earliest appointment you can.

Finally, if you read around this board a lot you will read loads of stories where treatment isn't working properly for people. Its inevitable that the majority, who do absolutely fine, don't hang around here for long because they are busy getting on with life. Don't let your current depression convince you that you will be one of 'us', you probably won't. But if you are, we are here to help.


Hi NickyUk, just a thought, which brand of Levothyroxine were you given?

I became very unwell on Mercury Pharma brand. I felt like I was losing my mind, I was  very weepy and depressed.  Sometimes you can react to the fillers in the tablets. I was ok with Actavis but better with Wockhardt.


NickyUk wrote "Tsh 13.5 ts4 36.5"

I'm guessing that ts4 36.5 should say FT4 36.5. But you really, really, REALLY need to check as soon as possible and you need to find out the reference ranges.

I am writing the following on the assumption that your TSH is 13.5 and your Free T4 is 36.5.

There are various reference ranges for Free T4, but the highest I can remember seeing had an upper limit in the 20s. I have certainly never seen a reference range that had an upper limit in the 30s.

With a Free T4 in the 30s you would expect a TSH level to be severely suppressed - round about 0.005 or 0.001. But yours is 13.5.

So, it begs the question, where is all that TSH coming from? One possibility is that you have a tumour on your pituitary gland which is pumping out TSH. If this is the case it will need to be found and removed. You probably aren't hypothyroid at all, you are very hyperthyroid with all that Free T4 in your body.

It's a shame you didn't get your Free T3 measured as well. Because with a Free T4 in the 30s your Free T3 is probably sky high too. And too much Free T3 is what will make hyperthyroid people feel ill. (Too little makes you feel hypothyroid.)

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Could it possible be a TT4? I believe the range for that could go up to about 60, so 36.5 could be low or mid-range. But, even so, it's useless. Just a thought.


It is possible I suppose, but I think it is rather unlikely. NickyUk's name suggests she lives in the UK, and so do I. I have never had TT4 measured by the NHS, but I have had it measured by Genova Diagnostics privately. The last time it was done (October 2014) the reference range was 58 - 154 nmol/L.

Nicky never mentioned the units of measurement, so we can only guess. But if it is Total T4 then hers might be horrendously low. We simply don't have enough information to say anything about her results with any certainty. I hope she comes back and talks to us sometime.


Yes, I hope so, too. Sounds as if she's been through a lot, and her doctor isn't very helpful.


That's quite a strange result - Free T4 and and TSH both high Do you have the ranges? I'd ask for a referral to an endocrinologist, and also try to get  free T3 tested.


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